Retrobulbar vs peribulbar regional anesthesia techniques using bupivacaine in dogs

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10 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the effectiveness of retrobulbar anesthesia (RBA) and peribulbar anesthesia (PBA) in dogs. Animal studied: Six adult mixed-breed dogs (18-24 kg). Procedures: In a randomized, masked, crossover trial with a 10-day washout period, each dog was sedated with intravenously administered dexmedetomidine and administered 0.5% bupivacaine:iopamidol (4:1) as RBA (2 mL via a ventrolateral site) or PBA (5 mL divided equally between ventrolateral and dorsomedial sites). The contralateral eye acted as control. Injectate distribution was evaluated by computed tomography. Following intramuscularly administered atipamezole, corneal and periocular skin sensation, intraocular pressure (IOP), and ocular reflexes, and appearance were evaluated for 24 hours. Comparisons were performed with mixed-effects linear regression (IOP) or the exact Wilcoxon signed rank test (scores). Significance was set at P ≤.05. Results: Injectate distribution was intraconal in 2/6 RBA- and 4/6 PBA-injected eyes. Eyes undergoing PBA had significantly reduced lateral, ventral, and dorsal periocular skin sensation for 2-3 hours, and significantly reduced corneal sensitivity for 4 hours, relative to control eyes. Chemosis and exophthalmos occurred in 33%-40% of eyes undergoing RBA and 83%-100% eyes undergoing PBA but resolved within 14 hours. Anterior uveitis developed in 2/6 and 1/6 eyes of RBA and PBA, respectively, of them corneal ulcer developed in one eye of each treatment. Both resolved 1-3 days following medical treatment. Conclusions: Peribulbar injection produced notable anesthesia more reliably than did retrobulbar injection. Both techniques may produce adverse effects, although the uveitis/ulcer could have resulted from the contrast agent used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • analgesia
  • bupivacaine
  • dogs
  • ophthalmic regional anesthesia
  • peribulbar anesthesia
  • retrobulbar anesthesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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